When Women Lead
In the Story of God, women have played critical roles at pivotal times. They have influenced history as wives, as mothers, as queens, as prophets, as military leaders, as friends, as daughters, as sisters, as mentors…
And as the Story continues, it has fallen to us to influence our own generation. We all influence someone. The question is not whether we influence people but how we influence people.
We hear so many mixed messages today regarding the most appropriate or most impactful environment for our influence. Some say in the home. Others say in the marketplace. Others say somewhere in between. It's hard to cut through all the noise.
And when we look at the Story of Scripture, it’s not easy to see clear categories and descriptions of Biblical womanhood and leadership.
There’s Esther—who was the most beautiful woman in the kingdom and whose inner strength matched her outward beauty to save a nation. There’s Deborah- the warrior and political leader who saved her people on the battlefield. There’s Ruth—who was known for her faithfulness, loyalty, and ability to win a man through seduction. There’s Huldah—the prophetess that gave spiritual direction to King Josiah and the nation of Judah and led them to revival. There’s Hannah—who shows us how to deal with depression and how to be a good mother. There’s Mary of the Mary/Martha duo—who teaches us what it means to be at rest in the presence of Jesus. There’s the Proverbs 31 woman—how many of us are tired of living in her shadow?
God created us differently. We will express femininity differently. We will influence differently. We were created to reflect the image and glory of our Creator, and fitting into a rigid mold of personality traits or roles does not reflect or bring glory to the image of God. Nor does it follow the pattern of diversity established in Scripture.
So who do we look to? Who do we pattern our lives after? What personality traits or roles should we focus on?
I talked about these questions at our NCC (re)Vision women's event last weekend, and I focused on the life of Mary. If we are going to talk about what it means to be a woman of influence, I thought that looking to the woman God chose to be the mother of Jesus might be a good place to start. What were the characteristics of Mary's life that we can learn from?
...to be continued...